So Much Ringo News

Everyone’s favorite Beatle is 82 years old now, but he still ends up in the news more often than most other famous drummers.

First up is that he tested positive for Covid a little over a week ago and had to cancel a couple handfuls of tour dates in Canada and the U.S. That he’s still even touring and performing at a high level is pretty goddamn amazing, so he’s prob got the right mega-genes to beat coronavirus (along with being vaccinated of course…surely he is). So we ain’t worried.

Which is good, because he announced yesterday on Instagram that he is now Covid free and back on the road. Dig the negative test as a necklace.

[Update 10/14/22: Yikes, Ringo tested positive again for Covid. All remaining stops on his North American tour have been canceled.]

His first show back is in Seattle. Apparently to mark his arrival, the Seattle Times published an article last week that asked if Ringo is the most underrated drummer ever. Some Seattle-based drummers offered their thoughts, including Heart skinsman Ben Smith:

“I remember the moment I first heard Ringo play, and how it gave me chills listening….His parts are so well-composed. Ringo set a standard that we all grew from. Texture, groove and attitude are the high points of a great drummer, and he hits all the marks.”

We hear the “underrated” and indeed “overrated” discussion quite often about 2-and-4 drummers who are intimately associated with one band: Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Peter Criss, etc. They aren’t virtuoso instrumentalists like Vinnie Colaiuta (shit, who is really?), so it’s easy to underappreciate or overestimate them depending on what kind of mood your music ears are in.

The thing is, though, music isn’t sports: we don’t need to pick winners and losers here, rank the highest and the lowest in an artificial hierarchy. Instead, music is like a great party with a bloody big dinner table—plenty of room and seats for all kinds of players. Ringo was perfect for the Beatles, and the band would have been far less great without him. Neil Peart was perfect for Rush, and the band would have been absolutely unimaginable without him. Our party would have super sucked if neither dude took a seat.

Now we can all move on and go practice.

Dominating headlines like it’s 1965

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